Elin Judit Straumsvåg
PRESS RELEASE 18 August 2003
Towards sustainable development in the tropics: how can universities contribute?
Oslo/San José/Johannesburg, 18 August 2003 – Universities, especially agricultural universities in developing countries, have been criticized for being too academic and remote from the practical needs of society. Graduates are not provided with the knowledge and skills needed by rural communities, agricultural businesses, and producers. And yet universities play a critical role in contributing to sustainable development: future leaders are today’s students who are expected to find solutions to increasing problems facing society, particularly in the tropics: poverty, food insecurity, population growth, and environmental degradation.
These issues will be addressed at an international seminar in Oslo, Norway, 3-5 September 2003, called Sustainability, Education and the Management of Change in the Tropics. Leaders in educational, governmental, and non-governmental organisations will attend, as well as from the business sector, scientific institutions, students and recent graduates. The seminar will be opened by the Norwegian Minister of International Development, Hilde Frafjord Johnson. Among the almost 100 invited participants are representatives of educational, governmental, non-governmental, grassroots,
multilateral, corporate, and scientific institutions and organizations, as well as students and recent graduates.
The Norwegian government, in particular the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and the Kellogg Foundation (USA) have sponsored the 5-year seminar series involving many participants in Africa, Asia and Latin America to share their experiences and analyse solutions to problems of sustainability and education in the tropics. The seminar in Oslo is the final one in the series and is organised by Noragric.
During the seminar series, participants have identified areas where changes are needed in agricultural and natural resource management universities in the tropics in order to meet society’s needs, and to make agriculture more economically competitive, socially responsible, and environmentally
sustainable in an increasingly globalised world economy, and able to provide effective contributions to food security and poverty reduction strategies.
The seminar in Oslo will listen to the experiences and recommendations of the participants and discuss how policies and institutions can be effective in supporting poverty alleviation and sustainabilityfocused rural development. Priority areas for follow-up action will be presented.
The seminar series has been coordinated by EARTH University (Costa Rica), the Salzburg Seminar (USA/Austria) and Noragric, the Centre for International Environment and Development Studies at the Agricultural University of Norway (NLH). Noragric acts as the international gateway for NLH,
and for the Norwegian College of Veterinary Medicine (NVH) and Norwegian Agricultural Research International (NARI), which form alliances with NLH.
Background information on the seminar series can be found on http://www.changetropics.org/
The seminar in Oslo is upon invitation only. For further information, contact Joanna Boddens- Hosang, Noragric: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 64948790
Oppdatert: 21.08.03Utskriftsvennlig versjon
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